Nomad nests: Comparing top solar cities for remote workers

Solar cities comparison: Best places for digital nomads
Have you ever dreamed of exchanging a noisy metropolis for a sunny city? Where, in addition to work, you can enjoy the beauty of nature and the culture of exotic countries. Where, you can communicate with interesting people from different countries and professions. If so, then you are a digital nomad, and you are not alone: 35 million people around the world are already living the digital nomad lifestyle (Statista).

We are discussing people who work remotely using the Internet and a laptop, allowing them to live anywhere in the world with access to the digital web. Typically, digital nomads prefer sunny cities. However, how does one choose the best sunny city? What factors should be considered? And how can one prepare for relocation and adaptation? Online services for travelers, like Country Helper, step in to address these questions.

Criteria for evaluating solar cities
To properly determine the criteria for selecting a solar city for remote work, it is important to understand why urbanists become digital nomads. Based on insights from our partners at Country Helper, here are the three most common reasons: 1) economic factors, as the sunny cities are often located in countries with a low standard of living; 2) a climate that promotes good mood, health, and productivity; and 3) culture — the opportunity to explore other traditions, languages, and meet people, which broadens horizons, improves communication skills, and fosters tolerance and open-mindedness. Having decided on the values, you can move on to the comparison of solar cities according to the following criteria:

Cost of living that includes prices for housing, food, transportation, and other expenses that determine a comfortable level of spending.
Internet connection quality and speed are significant factors for digital nomads who depend on the Internet for their work.
Coworking spaces — specially equipped places where you can work in comfortable conditions, with access to the Internet, electricity, printing, and other services. They also allow you to meet and connect with other digital nomads, exchange experiences and ideas, and find new projects to work on.
Community involvement, which refers to the activity of joining and contributing to communities of digital nomads in the city, which helps them adapt more easily, find friends and partners, and participate in activities and events related to remote work.
Sightseeing and entertainment — these are all about relaxing in your free time from work; sights, cultural events, and active recreation options help you take a more varied break from work and find deep sources of inspiration.

Comparison of the five best solar cities
By the number of requests from users of the Country Helper service, we have selected five sunny cities that are considered among the best for digital nomads. Here is their comparison table according to our criteria:

Cost living
Internet connection
Coworking spaces
Attractions & entertainment

Lisbon, Portugal
Average, about 1000 euros per month
High, 40 Mbit/s average
from 10 to 30 euros per day
Large and active, lots of events and networking meetings
Many, historical and modern attractions, beaches, museums, festivals

Chiang Mai, Thailand
Low, about $500 per month
Average, 20 Mbit/s average
from 5 to 15 dollars per day
Large and friendly, lots of cafés and bars for nomads
Lots, temples, nature, markets, elephants, massage

Bali, Indonesia
Low, about $600 per month
Average, 15 Mbit/s average
from 10 to 20 dollars per day
Large and varied, lots of yoga and meditation
Lots, beaches, surfing, volcanoes, rice terraces, temples

Barcelona, Spain
High, about 1500 euros per month
High, 50 Mbit/s average
from 15 to 40 euros per day
Large and creative, many startups and freelancers
Lots, architecture, museums, parks, nightlife, beaches

Cape Town, South Africa
Average, about $800 per month
Low, 10 Mbit/s average
from 10 to 20 dollars per day
Middle and rising, many local and foreign nomads
Lots, Table Mountain, safari, wineries, surfing, penguins

Comparison often leads to a philosophical conclusion about relativity: every city has its advantages and disadvantages, and in our case, you will find yourself as a digital nomad depending on your preferences, budget, and goals.

Choosing the ideal place
We come to the main question: How to choose the right solar city based on your personal preferences, budget, and goals? Here are some tips to help you navigate towards the best choice:

Determine your priorities: cost of living, quality of internet, availability of coworking spaces, size, and activity of the community, or variety of attractions and entertainment — what is more important to you?
Explore the available options: the Internet, books, magazines, blogs, podcasts, videos, reviews, and recommendations from other digital nomads — these sources of information will help you learn more about each city, its history, culture, climate, infrastructure, security, visa requirements, and other aspects
Compare and choose: tables, graphs, or charts — any of these methods will help you visualize and analyze the differences between cities to evaluate which city is better for you on various parameters and make your final choice.

Based on the criteria we discussed, create a list of what you desire from a sunny city and allocate points on a scale from 1 to 10. This helps you find your ideal match among various options. Visit Nomad Capitalist to discover the best digital nomad cities and get expert advice on how to pick your next nomadic destination.

Sunny cities are not only places for relaxation but also excellent platforms for digital nomads. Each of the reviewed cities has unique features that may attract those seeking an ideal place to work and relax.

Chiang Mai, with its low cost of living and vibrant community; Bali, with its beautiful beaches and spiritual atmosphere; Barcelona, with its rich culture and nightlife; and Cape Town, with its varied nature and adventure — each of them could be your ideal destination for a nomadic life. One more thing that unites all digital downshifters is the advantage of easily obtaining digital nomad visas in many countries, particularly in the post-pandemic era, as claimed by the Harvard Business Review.

But how do you choose a sunny city that’s right for you? How do you prepare for moving and adaptation? How can you make your life as comfortable and interesting as possible? In this article, we offer you a list of cities and evaluation criteria that will assist you in selecting the final destination for your nomadic journey — this is internal logic that you can apply to the selection of any other nomad cities.

Lastly, we’d like to introduce you to online services that can help you find the perfect city for your digital nomadic life. For instance, our partners at Country Helper handle the main work for you, utilizing the following tools:

Interests questionnaire: Answer a few questions about what is important to you in the city — culture, climate, cost of living, availability of coffee shops, and co-working spaces. The service’s algorithms will take your preferences into account and offer suitable options.
Ratings and reviews: Travel services collect information about each city from various sources and create an authorized rating system for popularity among digital nomads.
Route selection: This tool will help you plan a route to your destination, maximizing your resources — time and money — and explore alternative routes and stopovers along the way.
Tips and tricks: On services like designed to assist travelers in planning their journeys based on their interests, you’ll also find extensive information on how to adapt to a new environment, discover good coffee shops and co-working spaces, communicate with locals, and make the most out of your nomadic experience.

The article Nomad nests: Comparing top solar cities for remote workers first appeared in TravelDailyNews International.

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